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Comment: This is an attack, not a leech (Score 5, Informative) 884

by Jimmy_B (#42960877) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With an Advanced Wi-Fi Leech?

First of all, just to be clear: this isn't leaching, this is someone doing something nefarious. If they just wanted free bandwidth, they would never set up an evil twin network. Most of the replies on this thread are bad advice assuming it's a leech. The person responsible might be nearby, but probably not; if you track down the computer that's responsible, you're likely to find that its owner doesn't know what's going on and it's been taken over by an anonymous attacker over the Internet. Or you'll find a PwnPlug.

The first thing you need to do is notify the police that you're being targeted by hacking. This is important; if your computer/network is taken over and used for something illegal, which is likely to happen, this will protect you. Second: you need to notify your employer, as well as anyone whose confidential data you're in possession of. And third: you need to harden your computer security, and figure out why you might have been targeted.

Comment: They said no such thing! (Score 1) 105

by Jimmy_B (#42659337) Attached to: Bomb Blasts Alter Brain Lipid Levels

This lipid could serve as a way to diagnose people who are at risk of developing neurological disorders after a blast, the scientists say.

No, the paper doesn't say that. I checked. It's also not true; this can't be used for diagnosis (except maybe post-mortem), because it's on the wrong side of the skull.

Comment: Based on misunderstanding how transactions work (Score 1) 438

by Jimmy_B (#41694273) Attached to: Vast Bulk of BitCoins Are Hoarded, Not Used

This paper is based on a misunderstanding of how Bitcoin transactions work. If I receive 10BTC, then send 7BTC to someone using the usual software, then 7BTC will go to them and the other 3 will be sent as "change" to a newly-created Bitcoin address that's added to my wallet. It's also common practice for websites that accept Bitcoins as deposits or payment to generate a new address for every customer to send coins to, so that when they send coins they can tell who sent them using the destination address alone. The authors of the study don't seem to know this, so they completely misinterpret the patterns they're finding in the blockchain. If everyone followed the suggested practices of generating a new address for every incoming transaction, then every address would be either empty, or have never had an outgoing transaction.

And speaking of websites that accept Bitcoins as deposits, the recommended security practice is to divide coins into a "hot wallet", kept on the server and used for day-to-day transactions, and a "cold wallet" that's kept off-line for security. A cold wallet should almost never be involved in transactions - but it backs peoples' deposits which are used in transactions, so it's not like it's out of circulation.

Comment: Not actually approved (Score 5, Insightful) 386

by Jimmy_B (#41627831) Attached to: Seafood Raised on Animal Feces Approved for Consumers

From the article:

"Ngoc Sinh has been certified as safe by Geneva-based food auditor SGS SA, says Nguyen Trung Thanh, the company’s general director."
"SGS spokeswoman Jennifer Buckley says her company has no record of auditing Ngoc Sinh."

In other words, the article claims that Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Trading & Processing Export Enterprise is using repulsive and unsafe practices, and lying about having been inspected. Bloomberg is accusing them of a crime. The Slashdot headline, on the other hand, converted this into "Approved for Consumers" - accusing a different group, the regulators, which appear to be innocent.

Comment: Because ordinary errors don't lead to retractions (Score 4, Informative) 123

by Jimmy_B (#41529355) Attached to: Misconduct, Not Error, Is the Main Cause of Scientific Retractions

You might be tempted to think that this means ordinary errors aren't as common as we thought. Lots of papers - actually most papers, at least in medicine - are wrong for reasons like the author being confused, doing the statistics wrong, or using a type of experiment that can't support the conclusions drawn. But merely publishing a paper that's bullshit? That usually isn't enough to trigger a retraction, because retracting papers looks bad for the journals. Only an accusation of Serious Willful Misconduct can reliably force a retraction.

Comment: Center For Applied Rationality (Score 3, Interesting) 263

by Jimmy_B (#41383981) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Should a Geek's Charitable Donations Go?

Consider giving it to the Center For Applied Rationality. Their goal is to make people more rational, by teaching about cognitive biases and scientific decision making, and studying how to do so effectively. They're doing great things, on relatively little resources; your marginal dollars would go a long way.

GUI

+ - Textcelerator: A speed reader for the Web 2

Submitted by
Jimmy_B
Jimmy_B writes "Textcelerator extracts the text from web pages, and displays it in a cool way that makes you read it faster. Because it's written in Javascript, Textcelerator can either be embedded in a site, as a "Speed Read This" button, or installed as a browser plugin, which makes it work everywhere. Could this be the solution to information overload?"
Television

Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions 648

Posted by Soulskill
from the nice-knowing-you dept.
The NY Post reports that Hulu, the video streaming service with over 30 million users, has plans to force those users to prove they have a subscription to cable or satellite TV if they want to keep watching. Quoting: "The move toward authentication is fueled by cable companies and networks looking to protect and profit from their content. The effort comes as entertainment companies continue to face drastic shifts in home viewing habits. Overall spending on home entertainment edged up 2.5 percent to $4.45 billion in the first quarter as a surge in digital streaming — which rose more than fivefold to $549 million — offset a continuing collapse in video rentals, according to Digital Entertainment Group. ... Hulu racked up some $420 million in ad revenue last year and is expected to do well in this year’s ad negotiations. But the move toward authentication, which could take years to complete, will make cable companies happy because it could slow cord-cutting by making cable subscribing more attractive."

Comment: It's a sunk cost (Score 5, Insightful) 119

by Jimmy_B (#39484387) Attached to: What Does Google Get Out of Voice?

If Google had won a wireless spectrum auction (they didn't), then Google Voice could've been the core of Google's competition with the telco network. Pieces of it are probably still useful for Android, and it could give them negotiating leverage with carriers. So it could've been really important, but didn't turn out that way. The thing with software products, though, is that almost all of the cost is in the initial creation; once created, they cost very little to keep around. So Google keeps Voice running, because it costs them little and turning it off would be very disruptive.

Comment: Re:Solution to wrong problem (Score 1) 58

by Jimmy_B (#38879365) Attached to: SmartCap Reads Brain Waves to Monitor Workers' Fatigue Levels

The problem has never been knowing whether a worker is tired or the degree. Workers are well aware of how tired they are. The problem is jobs that pretty much require them to keep working anyway.

Workers may know that they're tired, but they can't easily prove it, and they can hide it if they don't want to lose pay. If someone goes to their boss and says they're too tired to work safely, they're likely to be ignored, and told to keep working. But if there's an impartially generated number that says they're too tired to work safely, that can't be ignored - because if a supervisor ignored that, and there was an accident, it would be easy to prove they were at fault.

Comment: Re:More tolerent of human error (Score 1) 510

by Jimmy_B (#35694162) Attached to: Google's Driverless Car and the Logic of Safety

Also who is liable in a fatal accident caused by a machine?

The insurance company that owns the policy for the vehicle, same as if it were being driven by a human. And while the general public may have a hard time reconciling statistics that say driverless cars are safer with a few stories about them getting into fatal accidents, insurance companies do not have that problem and will support whichever costs them less money in claims.

Comment: This is to prevent selling on multiple stores (Score 4, Informative) 294

by Jimmy_B (#34889984) Attached to: Amazon, Not Developers, Will Set New App Store's Prices

Lots of comments here that're completely missing the point. This is to prevent you from selling at multiple stores at once. You see, in addition to setting whatever price they want, Amazon also has a rule which says that you're not allowed to set a "list price" that's higher than what you sell it for on other app stores. This means that if you put the same app in both Google Market and Amazon's store, then Amazon's store will always be cheaper - and you can't raise the price to counteract Amazon's discounting without ruining your sales on Google Market.

This is just one of several showstopping issues that ensure that I, as an app developer, will not put anything to Amazon's app store.

Comment: I'm a developer, and I won't support this (Score 4, Informative) 222

by Jimmy_B (#34773420) Attached to: Amazon To Launch 'Amazon Appstore For Android'

I'm an Android app developer, and under the terms Amazon's currently offering, there's no way in hell I'll put my app there. There are three very serious problems with it. First, Amazon controls the pricing, not the developer - they can use your app as a loss leader. Second, they require that you give them your app and each update 14 days before you publish it anywhere else (such as on the Android Market) for their review process. That means no emergency fixes, and delayed releases, even if you're mainly publishing on the Android Market and want to put it on Amazon too. And third, it's competing with Android Market, which is preinstalled everywhere, with no users. It would be one thing if they offered more than Android Market's 70% take, but there're simply no advantages to it whatsoever.

Maybe they'll change their terms, and I'll reconsider. But the terms they're offering now are simply a bad deal for developers, and I doubt many will bite.

Earth

IBM Claims Breakthrough Energy-Efficient Algorithm 231

Posted by kdawson
from the sensible-consistency dept.
jitendraharlalka sends news of a claimed algorithmic breakthrough by IBM, though from the scant technical detail provided it's hard to tell exactly how important the development might be. IBM apparently presented its results yesterday at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics conference in Seattle. The breathless press release begins: "IBM Research today unveiled a breakthrough method based on a mathematical algorithm that reduces the computational complexity, costs, and energy usage for analyzing the quality of massive amounts of data by two orders of magnitude. This new method will greatly help enterprises extract and use the data more quickly and efficiently to develop more accurate and predictive models. In a record-breaking experiment, IBM researchers used the fourth most powerful supercomputer in the world... to validate nine terabytes of data... in less than 20 minutes, without compromising accuracy. Ordinarily, using the same system, this would take more than a day. Additionally, the process used just one percent of the energy that would typically be required."

Comment: Re:Nice, but Android? (Score 2, Informative) 109

by Jimmy_B (#31144790) Attached to: Hands On With Notion Ink's Pixel-Qi Equipped Adam Tablet
You aren't forced to write in Java, you're forced to write for the JVM. There are other languages that target the JVM, including versions of Ruby, Python, LISP, and my personal favorite, Scala. Using the JVM means that Android isn't locked in to using any one particular CPU instruction set (which was what destroyed the original PalmOS), and that all Android programs and libraries are API-compatible with each other without the need for setting up special bindings.

The devil finds work for idle circuits to do.

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